Women at Emmanuel

As a church we have a heart to see people, whatever their life stage or circumstances, grow
in their walk with God. A group of us, asked by the elders and co-ordinated by Sheila Alty,
have been looking at how we, as women at Emmanuel, can better encourage and support
each other in this. So thank you to everyone who responded to the questionnaire in June
with your ideas and shared with us your dreams.

Below are the outlines of some the ideas we floated as well as some activities already taking
place. There is then numerical feedback and a selection of narrative comments to give a
flavour of responses.

Women at Emmanuel Original Questionnaire in normal type
Responses and comments in italics

Women Sharing Stories ( have taken place as “Female Fellowship Evenings” )

An informal get-together where women from Emmanuel share a little about how they came
to faith and what God has been challenging them about recently. It provides a chance to
meet new people, build relationships and be encouraged and challenged by the way that
God is moving in the lives of women in our church.

How interested would you be in taking part in this
Answer = 'Yes' 30
Answer = 'Maybe' 11
Answer = 'No' 1
Total responses 42

Comments
Have done this and found it to be a good experience. God can use it to encourage you to
think about what He has done in your own life and challenge you to have high expectations
of what He can do in the future –
I think there are a lot of incredible women at Emmanuel who (as a student) I don’t really get
to meet.
Good way for people of different ages and life stages to mix and share stories and thoughts
to mutual encouragement
I have been to one of these, it was really good for building relationships
And from Libby who organised the initial evenings – The feedback from students in
particular was very positive. And a general feel from young women was that they really
desired opportunities to meet older women and benefit from their wisdom. If these could be
used as starting points for long-term inter-generational friendships then that would be
amazingly positive for both younger and older women in the church

Action
We thought it was worth taking forward, maybe 5/6 times this next year.
Tori Milledge and Jen Collins and one or two others who have offered to help facilitate this
are currently planning for later this term.
Sheila will also consider if there could be a Saturday morning event - open to all women
where someone more high-profile could share their story as a complement to "Women Sharing
Stories" but at a different time slot. A couple of suggestions of speaker names have
been given to follow up. Also Ginny Burgin event as part of weekend visit in February 2014.

1-1 Discipleship

Would you be interested in building 1 to 1 relationship/ friendships with other women in the
church to receive encouragement, challenge and prayer support to help you to further
develop in your relationship with God?

Answer = 'Yes' 33
Answer = 'Maybe' 6
Answer = 'No' 2
Total responses 41

Would you be interested in building 1 to 1 relationship/friendships with other women in the
church to provide encouragement, challenge, prayer support to help other women develop
in their relationship with God?
Answer = 'Yes' 26
Answer = 'Maybe' 14
Answer = 'No' 1
Total responses 41

Comments
Already do this but how do women who aren’t confident/part of a community do this or if they
don’t know anyone! How to oversee this?
Have wanted this for a long time but not sure how to initiate this – would help to have some
kind of structure to access
Another great idea- but I think that it needs to be in pairs where people can both receive and
provide rather than one person providing and one receiving.
I already do meet up in a discipleship trio Ali has called "fight clubs". Really recommend that
these are encouraged throughout the church - it has been so beneficial for me in being
accountable, open and vulnerable with each other meaning we are encouraged by each
other and built up in God, and for prayer support etc.

Action
Those who were there on September 29th will have heard Ali Scott preach on this as there
have been thoughts to extend something like the Hub's accountability/prayer triplets to the
wider church over the autumn (to be known as Faith Clubs) which women would be
encouraged to join. Re 1:1 pairings there is again considerable interest in this which would
be good to take forward and hopefully everyone who felt this might be something for them
will have been encouraged to sign up on the sheet given that week to get this organised. If
there are women who were not there that week and therefore have missed out on this
information but would still like to get involved please see one of the elders or ask Sheila for
more details.

Women of Grace: resting on the Word

Do you wrestle with the struggles and pressures of life and claiming God's authority and
promises for a life poured out in worship to God? Do you feel that just need to 'get over it' or
'try harder'? Do you find that you talk and talk and talk with your friends but rarely pronounce
God's truth over your lives and allow the Spirit to come and change? Do you long to learn
from godly women in the Bible and from our society; learning how to die to sin and live in the
LIFE and FREEDOM that God gives? Do you find it liberating when you can share honestly
with other women and get real about dying to our old ways and living in our new life; doing
life together in honest, loving community? We are looking to spend time looking at God's
word, the only truth and authority for our lives, as we "get real" with one another and spur
one another to run the good race for His glory.

How interested would you be in taking part in this?
Answer = 'Yes' 26
Answer = 'Maybe' 12
Answer = 'No' 4
Total responses 42

Comments
I am feeling very challenged just now by how conditioned I am by the culture and how not
radical I am. I use my voice a lot but rarely proclaim God’s Kingdom or to speak God’s
truth/light/love into others’ lives
Coupled with 1:1 discipleship this could be great- learning together then keeping each other
accountable during the time that follows.
Well up for some Bible study with women, sharing and leading, challenging and encouraging
one another. Again, as long as it is clear in purpose and vision.
Would like more bible study but would prefer mixed groups

Action
Significant interest in this-it was thought we needed to look again at questionnaires to check
out responses. Claire Scott and some of the women who attend the Hub are going to look
further at some of these issues We are hoping that the visit of Ginny Burgin to spend some
time with women at Emmanuel in February 2014 will also be contributing to the nurturing and
development of women who really want to step out and lead radical godly lives.

Well-Being Days

As women we are pulled in many directions, family, work, motherhood, care givers, wives,
daughters and more. To "give" in so many areas of our lives we also need to "receive" and
to live ourselves a balanced life which feeds our spirit, minds and our bodies. At Emmanuel
church we are interested in holding an event which aims to nourish you and your friends with
practical help towards achieving that balance. e.g. activities or speakers on: How to find time
for me; Healthy food and nutrition; Activity classes for health and exercise; Social events to
rest and have fun; Learning a new craft or skill.

How interested would you be in taking part in this?
Answer = 'Yes' 27
Answer = 'Maybe' 12
Answer = 'No' 3
Total responses 42

Any Comments (e.g. What kind of event would you bring a friend to? Which of the above
areas would add balance to your life?)
Comments

Really like the idea of a day event where you could maybe bring friends to
If more relaxed I would bring a friend. I think rest and fun and crafts with some spiritual
teaching would be great.
Many other suggestions – sport, health, craft, food related

Action
Seems to be good interest in this but quite a lot of differing responses which ideally need
more analysis . Sheila to meet Caroline Molloy and discuss further.

National Conferences

Do you get energy from being together with women at large gatherings, praising God,
sharing fellowship, hearing what's happening elsewhere in the country, getting revitalised to
continue in your walk with God? There are several different women's events which happen
regionally (nationally) which we could organise to attend together as a small group of women
from Emmanuel giving us a chance to get to know one another better and be motivated and
inspired in our journey of faith.

How interested would you be in taking part in this?
Answer = 'Yes' 18
Answer = 'Maybe' 16
Answer = 'No' 8
Total responses 42

Comments
Though I think this is a great idea currently feel the need to focus on getting the smaller
scale/local things and meetings into life is the priority
This is good because I could put it in the diary without creating additional regular
commitment. Always enjoyed previous conferences. Also would be good for mixing across
age groups.
To see inspirational women speakers and leaders is so needed. Every time I have done this
at such events this year I have come away and been built up to move forward in the things
I’m doing

Action
Less interest here. However it was thought it may be worth publicising in E news if there
are one or two which are happening in the year ahead which are being attended by Emmanuel
women to see other would like to join them.

Coffee and Cake

A chance to meet with others in the day time. All ages are welcome, both men and women to
meet up with others from church but also to bring friends as an intro to the building and the
community.

How interested would you be in taking part in this?
Answer = 'Yes' 8
Answer = 'Maybe' 15
Answer = 'No' 17
Total responses 40

Comments
It seems that there is little added interest because many people are busy with work
commitments in the day and therefore cannot attend.

No further action needed

Other named specific responses

Sheila will respond where appropriate and then meet and /or discuss thoughts with individuals
concerned.

What types of activities do you personally feel should be a focus for women at
Emmanuel?
Are there any issues or concerns that you particularly pray about that you would like
to pray with other women about or receive teaching about?

Thank you for all your honest – and sometimes fervent - responses on these general
questions. Comments on these are not given here as some are quite personal.
Common themes that were touched on by a number of women included
- looking at women as leaders and how this could be developed,
- encouraging cross-generational relationships,
- not just “things to do with being a wife and mother”
- encouraging fun as well as spiritual activities
There were lots of individual suggestions and comments too numerous to mention. Maybe
the message is to keep talking to each other and see if other common ideas emerge, which
we can pray about and work with.

Action
As you will see we have been able to move forward with some of the things people hoped
might happen. We will be running another after church Coffee and Cupcake event on
Sunday November 10th in the Conference Room to feed back verbally on some of the
activities planned in response to this questionnaire. But after that if there are still hopes and
dreams you want to discuss further please contact Sheila Alty.
We hope to keep “what’s happening for women at Emmanuel” on the agenda. If you have a
heart to see women grow in their walk with God and want to be more involved in prayer,
discussions and planning do get in touch.